ENME 432 - Reactor and Radiation Measurements Laboratory

3 Credits


Coplan, Michael & Koeth, Timothy


Radiation Detection and Measurement, 4th Edition, Glenn F. Knoll, Wylie, 1999.


MATH 246
ENME 430


Basic concepts of nuclear radiation including types of radiation, radioactive decay, and interaction of radiation with matter.  Methods of radiation measurements using modern radiation detectors and processing electronics. Course lectures emphasize the principles upon which the measurements are based.


The major objective of ENME 432 is to teach students the measurements required to characterize radiation emitted from active nuclear materials. Emphasis is placed on laboratory measurements using modern radiation detectors and processing electronics and analysis software. Understanding the principles of nuclear radiation and detector technology underlying measurements and the critical thinking skills necessary to effectively assess experimental results is emphasized. Students satisfactorily completing the class will:
  • Become familiar with basic nuclear processes and the interaction of radiation with matter
  • Understand and be able to apply the design of experiments for radiation detection and measurement
  • Understand the principles of radiation detector operation
  • Be able to assess the uncertainty of experimental results and the reliability of radiation measurements


Radiation Safety

  • Basic Instrumentation
  • Nuclear Radiation, Counting Statistics
  • Interaction of Radiation with Matter
  • Gas Ionization Detectors
  • Gamma Ray Spectroscopy
  • Radiation Sensors, Basic Principles
  • Detector Efficiency and Resolution
  • Shielding
  • Dosimetry
  • Nuclear Decay and Half-Life
  • Neutron Activation
  • Nuclear Reactor Operation, Approach to Critical


  • Radiation Safety
  • Introduction to GM Detectors, Counting Statistics
  • Gamma Spectroscopy – NaI/SCA/MCA
  • High Resolution Gamma Spectroscopy – HPGe/MCA
  • Alpha Spectroscopy
  • Radiation Shielding
  • Dosimetry
  • Half-Life Measurements
  • Neutron Activation
  • Maryland University Training Reactor – Approach to Critical

Learning Outcomes 

  • an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  • an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  • an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  • an ability to communicate effectively
  • a knowledge of contemporary issues

Class/Laboratory Schedule 

  • One 50 minute lecture and one 4 hour lab each week

Last Updated By 
Michael Coplan & Timothy Koeth, June 2017